Behind the Sketchbook

Annette 'Nettie' Jane

Annette ‘Nettie’ Jane has always been creative but wasn’t allowed to go to college as a young lady. In this interview she talks of not feeling talented enough, even after winning a top award and how she’s now trying to make more of her art. Annette is living proof that it is never too late to follow your dreams.

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About You

How did you get into art and making?

I have always drawn/painted/ sculptured but i was not allowed to go to college so I finally went to college then uni as a mature student. I am now trying to make more of my art and sell works.
Behind the Sketchbook
About Your Art

What art do you like to make?

I paint seascapes and animals and make sculptures of animals

What materials do you use?

I paint with alcohol ink and make sculptures out of wire and plastic.

How would you describe yourself?

Art textile teacher and artist
Behind the Sketchbook

What or who inspires and influences your work?

Local artists, Turner, Kurt Jackson and a host of others.

How have you and your work changed over time?

I have found alcohol inks are the medium that can work with, explore and enjoy and since finding them I feel I have matured in my art and people seem to react positively.

What challenges have you faced along the way?

I have never felt that I am talented enough to sell my art and always see the flaws but i am trying to overcome that though I am amazed every time a piece of work turns out well, I still really lack confidence and this stops me from promoting my art. I still teach and this hinders me but i try to join in with local workshops and that forces me to do art as well as learn new things.
Behind the Sketchbook
Your Achievements

What has been your biggest achievement/s so far? No matter how big or small?

I won the top award and bursary for Devon Artist Network open studios. Proud moment indeed!

How did it feel to experience this achievement?

Shock and unbelievable happiness, though I sometimes now wonder if they now regret choosing me (that old lack of confidence rearing it’s ugly head again!)
Behind the Sketchbook

What difficulties, doubts or fears did you face and how did you overcome them?

Self confidence is a huge block for me, I never call myself an artist and i find it difficult when people reject my work even though I realise it is mainly down to personal taste. I also catch myself painting what i think people will like rather than what i love. I am still trying to overcome these fears and just stop worrying. Joining online art groups can be a huge boost but if nobody ‘likes’ the work then this can crush you as well!

What or who has helped you in your journey?

Online sites such as The virtual Art Studio is a huge help both in keeping us working and being critical and/or complimentary. joining in local workshops and meeting local artists and becoming part of that scene. Also being pig headed and ignoring the doubts and just keep on creating.

If someone could wave a magic wand and make amazing things happen for you, what would be your dream?

I would love to be recognised and respected as and artist both locally and nationally,I would also move down to St Ives, Cornwall where I find the colours are so inspiring and the art scene is exciting and accepted by all.

What is your biggest piece of advice for other artists?

Practice really does make better, explore new mediums and try new techniques but overall have confidence in yourself and your art, not everybody will like it nor understand it but it is yours and your ideals and dreams so stick by it and enjoy the whole creative process.

If you would like to see more of Annette’s work please follow this link:


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